AmphibiaWeb - Eleutherodactylus blairhedgesi


(Translations may not be accurate.)

Eleutherodactylus blairhedgesi Estrada, Díaz & Rodriguez, 1998
Canasi Frog
Subgenus: Euhyas
family: Eleutherodactylidae
subfamily: Eleutherodactylinae
genus: Eleutherodactylus
Species Description: Estrada, A.R., Díaz, L.M., and Rodriguez, A. (1998 "1997"). Nueva especie de Eleutherodactylus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) del litoral norte de La Habana, Cuba. Revista Española de Herpetología 11, 19–29.

© 2010 Ariel Rodriguez (1 of 1)

  hear Fonozoo call (#1)
  hear Fonozoo call (#2)

Conservation Status (definitions)
IUCN Red List Status Account Critically Endangered (CR)
National Status None
Regional Status None
Access Conservation Needs Assessment Report .



View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.


Eleutherodactylus blairhedgesi is a medium-sized frog with a male snout-vent length range of 18.2 - 25.6 mm and a female snout-vent length range of 28.5 - 31.4 mm. The head is wider than the body and it is longer than it is wide. The snout is round in both the dorsal and lateral views and overhangs the lower jaw. The nostrils are somewhat protuberant and face laterally. The canthus rostralis is round and distinct, and the loreal region is slightly convex with a sharp incline. Short tubercles cover the interorbital space and upper eyelids. The supratympanic fold does not cover the tympanum. The round tympanum is located about half of its diameter away from the eye. Postrictal tubercles are present. Males do not have an external vocal sac. The dorsum is heavily covered with short, round tubercles while the flanks are covered slightly more with elongated tubercles. On the posterolateral edges of the venter, the skin is moderately granular while the rest is smooth. The discoidal fold is barely distinguishable. The postrictal and supra-axillary areas are glandular. The palmar tubercle is kidney-shaped and larger than the thenar tubercle, which is elevated and ovular. There are some supernumerary tubercles on the palm, and the subarticular tubercles are round and conical. There are indistinct bilateral protrusions on the fingers. All of the fingertips have expanded and rounded discs. The adpressed limbs do not overlap (Estrada et al. 1998).

In life, the overall color can be beige to beige-gray with light brown, yellowish, and greenish tones. The throat is pinkish-gray. The venter is translucent with some pinkish-gray areas. On the anterior of the head, there is a dark brown interocular bar with lighter tones at the margins. The anterior of the head is lighter than the rest of the body and has small dark spots. A dark brown stripe runs from the snout tip to the front of the eye, bordering the canthus rostralis on the loreal region and continuing behind the eye to the supratympanic fold until it reaches the shoulder. Here, there is a poorly-defined, widespread dark spot. Below the eyes there is a narrow, crescent-shaped area that is iridescent and silver, sometimes with pale green tones. The upper eyelids are dotted with copper spots. The lips are stained brown, becoming beige toward the posterior. The postrictal region and area below the tympanum is yellowish. The dorsum of the body is stained irregularly with brown or black. There is a distinct spot above the shoulders that has an open W-shape with thick ends. There is a bar in the middle of the back that is often fragmented enough to look like two bars. Most visible on the anterior two-thirds of the back, there are two light stripes surrounded by dark spots. The top of the thighs are shiny and brown with some beige-yellowish-greenish spots. The outer finger is darker than the rest. The feet are brown with dark, banded toes. The iris is copper with black reticulations and is darker at the bottom (Estrada et al. 1998).

Distribution and Habitat

Country distribution from AmphibiaWeb's database: Cuba


View distribution map in BerkeleyMapper.
The species is only known from the type locality in La Loma de Canasí on the north coast of Havana province, between Havana to the west and Matanzas to the east in the Habanas-Matanzas Heights region in Cuba. This habitat consists of rocky areas and tropical shrubland. The species occurs along the coastline on limestone cliffs that are 3 - 7 m from the surf (Estrada et al. 1998, Hedges and Díaz 2004).

Life History, Abundance, Activity, and Special Behaviors
The species has morphological features associated with adaptation to Cuban karst habitats, such as long hind limbs, prominent eyes, and short or notched discs. Other species in the habitat include E. atkinsi, E. planirostris, E. pinarensis, and E. varleyi (Estrada et al. 1998). Eleutherodactylus blairhedgesi can be found in leaf litter, under stones, and under logs and is common within its range (Rodríguez 2012, Hedges and Díaz 2004).

Eleutherodactylus blairhedgesi becomes active at dusk, around 18:30 - 19:30, til after dawn, around 6:00 - 7:00. Individuals emerge from narrow cracks and holes in the cliff, where they return to at sunrise (Estrada et al. 1998).

The calls of E. blairhedgesi are short and high-pitched but have a low intensity. The calls have two notes, the first of which is pulsating and ascending in pitch. The second note is also pulsating. On average, the calls occur about 24.1 ± 6.3 times per minute (Estrada et al. 1998).

Eleutherodactyline frogs likely feed on insects, insect larvae, arachnids, isopods, and snails. The dwarf boa, Tropidophis celiae, is a predator of E. blairhedgesi (Rodríguez-Cabrera et al. 2020).

Eleutherodactyline frogs are direct-developing and lay eggs out of water (Heinicke et al. 2007).

Trends and Threats
Though the species is common within its range, E. blairhedgesi is classified as “Critically Endangered” on the IUCN Red List. Threats to the species include human activity, the chytrid fungus (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis), habitat destruction, introduced predators, and climate change. Human activities resulting in population declines include residential and commercial development, mining and quarrying, and general human disturbances, all of which place stresses on the ecosystem. West Indies islands like Cuba were originally covered in forests, but 90% of these forests have been destroyed by humans. In Puerto Rico, other Eleutherodactylus species have been found in the stomach contents of introduced predators such as the Small Indian Mongoose Urva auropunctata, which was introduced in the mid-19th century. Additionally, E. blairhedgesi occurs only in an unprotected area (Hedges and Díaz 2004, 2011).

Possible reasons for amphibian decline

General habitat alteration and loss
Habitat modification from deforestation, or logging related activities
Predators (natural or introduced)
Climate change, increased UVB or increased sensitivity to it, etc.


Eleutherodactlyines fall into three major radiations: the South America, Caribbean, and Middle American clades. Eleutherodactylus frogs are under the Caribbean clade (Heinicke et al. 2007). Based on Maximum Likelihood analysis of 16S mtDNA, E. blairhedgesi is sister to E. thomasi, which shares the same habitat in Havana, Cuba (Crawford et al. 2011).

The species is named after Dr. S. Blair Hedges for his important contributions to Cuban herpetofaunal knowledge (Estrada et al. 1998).

Crawford, A.J., Roberto, A.B., Jaramillo A., C.A., Sucre, S., and Roberto, I. (2011). DNA barcoding identifies a third invasive species of Eleutherodactylus (Anura: Eleutherodactylidae) in Panama City, Panama. Zootaxa 2890, 65-67. [link]

Estrada, A.R., Díaz, L.M., and Rodriguez, A. (1998 "1997"). Nueva especie de Eleutherodactylus (Anura: Leptodactylidae) del litoral norte de La Habana, Cuba. Revista Española de Herpetología 11, 19–29.

Hedges, B., Díaz, L. (2004). Eleutherodactylus blairhedgesi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2004: e.T56466A11469913. Accessed on 14 November 2023.

Hedges, B. and Díaz, L.M. (2011). The conservation status of amphibians in the West Indies. Conservation of Caribbean Island Herpetofaunas. Volume 1: Conservation Biology and the Wider Caribbean, 31-47. [link]

Heinicke, M. P., W. E. Duellman, and S. B. Hedges. (2007). Major Caribbean and Central American frog faunas originated by ancient oceanic dispersal. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Supplemental Online Information) 104(24), 10092-10097 [link]

Rodríguez, A. (2012). Eleutherodactylus blairhedgesi Estrada, Díaz y Rodríguez, 1997. In Gonzáles, A.H., Rodriguez-Schettino, L., Rodríguez, A., Mancina, C., Ramos, I. (Eds.). Libro Rojo de los Vertebrados de Cuba. Editorial Academia, La Habana. [link]

Rodríguez-Cabrera, T. M., García-Padrón, L. Y., Morell Savall, E., & Torres, J. (2020). Predation on direct-developing frogs (Eleutherodactylidae: Eleutherodactylus) in Cuba: New Cases and a Review. Reptiles and Amphibians, 27(2), 161–168. [link]

Originally submitted by: Madeline Ahn (2023-11-16)
Description by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-11-16)
Distribution by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-11-16)
Life history by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-11-16)
Larva by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-11-16)
Trends and threats by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-11-16)
Comments by: Madeline Ahn (updated 2023-11-16)

Edited by: Ann T. Chang (2023-11-16)

Species Account Citation: AmphibiaWeb 2023 Eleutherodactylus blairhedgesi: Canasi Frog <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed Mar 2, 2024.

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Citation: AmphibiaWeb. 2024. <> University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. Accessed 2 Mar 2024.

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